"I'm looking for help with this old photo of my grandmother. I am finding a lot use bright and insane colors that people would not have worn and unrealistic looking with other sellers...." says my client and now friend, Alice.S.
Have you come across such photo restorers/retouchers?
This was the beginning of a beautiful working experience. Alice wanted to have this photo of her grandmother restored as a gift. I'm so glad that she got what she wanted and with stories to tell too. Read on for more on the before and after of this amazing photo!
It was a pleasure being hired by Alice to work on her photo. When I first received the photo, I thought, "Wow this photo is incredible!" Take a look at it. This was taken around 1950 in the Dublin Connolly train station. There is a lot going on in this very interesting photo. First, you have the grandmother standing elegantly in the middle. To the left you see a woman opening a door and looking to the side. On the right there's a man in a hat and vest carrying a bag. Perhaps an attendant? Behind him is a woman with a demonic face (lol sorry). In the foreground to the right is a man in a coat holding up a camera to his face. And you also see the cart with newspapers, a sign above, and posters on the brick wall. A lot going on right?
Alice shared a little story behind this photo. "She decided after she left college to spend her money that she had saved on a trip to Europe. She said even standing at snowy bus stations she made the right call"
At first I didn't realize how much of a challenge this photo was going to be. If you look closely you'll see a lot of scratches everywhere. The bottom half is faded. The dark areas have very little clarity. Lastly, the distortion caused by the noise (Grain) in the shadows.
My first milestone was to clean up the photo by removing the scratches, enhancing details using CLARITY service.
When I showed K this first photo, I was greeted with a...
"WOW!!" "So far it looks great!"
Imagine my smile on my face. =) Then I said, "I'll do my best to keep colors realistic. With such a photo like this, popping colors is too futuristic. You will receive previews so you can see if I need to adjust something so that you're happy with the new photo. Sounds like a plan?" Yes, it's time for COLORS. Then I asked what colors she wanted on the photo like for instance, what was her grandmother's hair color etc.
Personally, I'm all for realism when it comes to colorizing a photo. When it comes to the skin, a restorer can't just use a peach color all around. Did you know there are different colors in the face? You'll see some peach, some brown, some red, some yellow and even some BLUE. Yes blue! Colorizing a photo is like being a painter and painting a portrait. It's pretty amazing when you think about it. I feel amazed because I never thought I could be an actual painter of paints but here I am, "painting" a black and white photo. Anyway, back to the photo...
I must say after a few hours of work, (with a few breaks to rest my tired eyes), the photo is complete. (The photo is a small 3x3 so in the closeup it'll look a little distorted. At full view it is just fine.)
Client tear jerking review
"She communicates quickly and frequently about the good, the struggle and the expectations you asked about.
It is one of her greatest strengths in addition to her photo skills. She is always happy to give 1000% percent.
I asked for some tough revisions a few times for the final product. I WILL be using her exclusively in the future."
This is why she gave me a tip. *huge smile*
"You are awesome. You always communicate quickly and frequently as well as it always seems as though you take what could be a huge hassle and frustration such as redoing my Nan's face in stride and come at it from the growth mindset of "this is a challenge" attitude. I have to say how impressed I am with the details you put in too. Even though her face was distorted you went above and beyond. Others are basic and do basic work... you don't. You seem to care about the end result as much as the client does. I will be using your service exclusively in the future." - Alice. S
Wow! I must say I did enjoy this experience. I'm so happy that she feels fulfilled. Maybe even spoiled? I love giving a wonderful experience for my clients and now friends. Everyone deserves to be treated well when seeking help, agree? Alice said that when she visits her grandfather that she will look through the boxes of prints for more. I can't wait!
I hope this gives you ideas for photo gifts.......hey, are you still there or are you looking through your albums and boxes of prints? *laugh* Would you love to see more restored photos? Check out these photos of my grandmother in law who sadly just passed away this year. Or see a bunch more here . I'd love to hear from you even just to chat about project ideas. And since the holidays are comin,a restored photo make fantastic gifts! Giving something personal and unique is especially special. Don't you want to see that smile and tear in their face? That's the goal right?
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My philosophy is that photography should lighten up the heart and the eyes with vibrant color, light and Majesty as memories flood back into the mind and soul.